What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a process that helps enhance your smile by making the color of your teeth appear lighter. There are a variety of professional teeth whitening treatment systems available, some of which can be used in the comfort of your home and others in the comfort of a dental office. At Cedar Mountain Dental, if your teeth have become stained over time and you are seeking treatment solutions to help restore the appearance of your smile, your dentist may recommend different types of teeth whitening methods, including:
- Whitening/stain removal toothpaste
- Chairside bleaching
- Laser teeth whitening
- Custom-made bleaching systems
- At-home bleaching systems e.g., Lumibrite®
- Over-the-counter whitening treatments
- Dental bonding
Depending on the severity of discoloration, along with other factors, your dentist can help determine which teeth whitening treatment may be best for you.
Why is tooth whitening used?
Teeth whitening systems, such as toothpastes, mouth strips, and other methods, can be used to help restore the color of stained teeth due to certain external factors. Teeth whitening systems may be used if your teeth have become stained from:
- Eating certain foods
- Consuming certain beverages
- Prolonged tobacco usage
- Wearing away of enamel
- Trauma or injury to the tooth
- Reaction to certain medications
If you would like to find out if you are an appropriate candidate for teeth whitening or would like to learn more about available treatment options, our friendly staff can help determine which teeth whitening options may be best for you.
What does teeth whitening involve?
In general, teeth whitening involves the use of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide along with other ingredients to bleach the teeth. The chemical components of these bleaches help break down and deconcentrate stains, helping to make your teeth appear lighter. Depending on which teeth whitening system your doctor recommends, the levels of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, as well as the treatment process, may vary.
Teeth whitening systems that are purchased over the counter contain lower levels of tooth whitening ingredients and can involve the use of toothpastes, rinses, chewing gums, whitening strips, gels, or trays. Over-the-counter systems can be used in combination with one another, or they may be used individually for treatment. However, certain systems work well for certain staining, while others do not. If you are considering the use of over-the-counter teeth whitening systems, your dentist can help determine which systems are most appropriate for your dental needs.
If over-the-counter treatments are ineffective in enhancing the appearance of your smile, your dentist may recommend in-office bleaching, also known as chairside bleaching. As all other teeth whitening methods, this procedure involves the use of a bleaching agent that is applied to the teeth. During this procedure, your dentist will have you comfortably seated in a reclined position. Oral appliances will be used to help keep your mouth open during the procedure. To protect your gums during the process, your dentist will also apply a gel base and rubber device to your gums.
Once you are prepped and relaxed, your doctor will apply the teeth whitening solution to your teeth. During the procedure, your doctor may use heat or light therapy to help enhance the treatment process. Treatment can range anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The number of sessions needed will depend on the severity of staining, as well as the type of results you wish to achieve.
While teeth whitening systems can help restore discolored teeth, the results may not be permanent, and additional treatments may be required.
What are the benefits of teeth whitening treatment?
If your teeth have become stained over time, teeth whitening treatment offers many benefits, including:
- Restored appearance of teeth
- Quick, comfortable, treatment process
- Personalized treatment according to your needs
- Improved confidence in your smile
To learn about potential teeth whitening side effects, speak with your dentist for more information.
If you are interested in teeth whitening, a consultation with one of our dental experts may be the first step toward a brighter, happier, healthier-appearing smile. At Cedar Mountain Dental, our staff utilizes the latest state-of-the-art technology to prevent, diagnose, and treat dental conditions. With over 30 years of dental expertise, our knowledgeable and caring dental staff is committed to delivering high-quality patient care and creating meaningful patient relationships that last. To schedule your teeth whitening consultation call (860) 667-2600 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.